(WACO) – Noli Park of Bosqueville first became interested in welding when she was a sophomore at Bosqueville High School.
While she balanced high school academics and extracurricular activities, she took the same welding classes that Texas State Technical College students experienced. The difference was that Park took them at the high school with her TSTC-accredited instructor for dual credit.
“Dual credit gets you a foot in,” said Park, 19. “By the time I graduated, I took 12 semester credit hours, and not just in welding. It made coming to college easier.”
Bosqueville High School has about 200 students, with at least 35 sophomores, juniors and seniors taking part in dual credit academic classes. Kim Granger, a BHS counselor, said some of the classes students take are English, history and government.
Park said TSTC was the best decision she could have made about where to go to college.
“I do a lot more hands-on work,” she said. “It gets you ready for the job life. Here, they want us ready for jobs and to be on time and work hard.”
Park grew up around equipment as her father worked on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. She said tungsten inert gas, or TIG, welding is her favorite.
“I just really like welding,” she said. “I did it to have steadier hands. I originally wanted to be a surgeon.”
Park credits her welding work with being able to get scholarships from the Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Park graduated in 2016 from Bosqueville High School and is scheduled to graduate in December from TSTC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology.
After graduation, Park wants to work in the field and then teach welding to high school students. She wants to stay in Central Texas to be close to her family.
TSTC’s Waco, Williamson County and North Texas campuses offer more than 20 technical pathways, including Auto Collision Refinishing, Avionics and Electrical Lineworker, that students can take to earn dual credit hours. The classes can be taken either at TSTC or at the students’ home campuses.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.